Roderick Usher Downfall

935 Words2 Pages
The story, “The Fall of the House of Usher”, chronicles the narrator’s descent into madness because of living and caring for Roderick Usher. Poe uses Usher as the method in which the narrator goes insane and Madeline as a way to reflect the narrator’s own mental state. Roderick’s own fear led him to wanting another to be with him to share his fear and state. At the end of the story everything that happened was a figment of the narrator’s imagination and an example of the effects Roderick had on the narrator. Furthermore the collapse of the house itself was symbolic of the narrator escaping the grasp of insanity. The effects the house, Roderick, and Madeline are implied throughout the story and the outcome is evident in the ending.
At the beginning
…show more content…
Usher’s fondness of such dark stories evolved into readings of such stories daily. Thus the reading of such novels and being around the gloomy, nonsensical, songs played by Roderick, took its tole on the narrator’s mental state. This is evident at the end of the story when the narrator and Roderick both start to hear sounds that correspond with sounds in a novel they were reading. They then concluded that the sounds were Madeline coming back from the tomb, “No sooner had these syllables passed my lips, than--as if a shield of brass had indeed, at the moment, fallen heavily upon a floor of silver--I became aware of a distinct, hollow, metallic, and clangorous, yet apparently muffled, reverberation.”(39) By the end of Poe’s story, the narrator himself was sensing similarities and realities in the sounds of a novel being…show more content…
The narrator began sensing similarities between a story he was reading and the sounds surrounding him. Poe shows that Roderick had seen the signs of Madeline’s life and had been confusing the stories with reality, “Not hear it?--yes, I hear it, and have heard it. Long--long--long--many minutes, many hours, many days, have I heard it--yet I dared not--oh, pity me, miserable wretch that I am!--I dared not-- I dared not speak! ‘We have put her living in the tomb! Said I not that my senses were acute?....” (39) At this point in the story Roderick and the narrator both believe that the arguably imagined Madeline has come back to life and is attacking Roderick. Then, lastly, the narrator runs from the house only to see it crumble to the ground, signifying the end of his delusion and his jump back to reality.
Overall, Poe uses “The Fall of the House of Usher” to chronicle the narrator’s mental state and how by coming to Roderick’s aid when he asked, the narrator is pulled into Roderick’s delusions and starts to fall into insanity. He hallucinates Roderick’s death and Madeline’s exodus from the grave, and believes that he hears sounds are that paralleled from a story in real life. This story is mainly symbolic and the theme mainly encompasses how a person can be pulled into
Open Document